13 Feb Running Program: Part 2
Part 2: Strengthening Program
This running strengthening program is a compilation of the top 5 of our favourite exercises to prepare you for your running season. They are simple, quick and require no equipment. They also assume that at the moment you are injury free! Below our Top 5 are a few more of our favourite exercises that require some simple equipment.
Top 5 Running Preparation Exercises.
Lunges. Targets: gluts, squads and a bit of hamstring. Has the added benefit of a functional hip flexor stretch. I like reverse lunges, regular and walking lunges for different reasons. Reverse lunges will work both glut max as well as glut min in a stabilizing capacity, but will give you less hip flexor stretch. Reverse lunges are less common so I will give you their description and pictures, but feel free to replace or rotate with regular or walking lunges. Description: Standing with feet shoulder widths, take a step backwards about 2-3 feet (.75m-1m) depending on your ability and bend both legs keeping the majority of your weight on your front leg. From the bent position step back onto the front leg and drive the back leg forward. Without putting that foot back down, repeat by placing it back behind you again.
Side Lunges. Targets: quads, hip adductors and abductors (small gluteus muscles). Description: starting with your feet shoulder width apart, step out to the side 3 or more feet bending that leg and keeping the standing leg straight and step back in a fluid motion. Repeat on the opposite side
Chair Bridge Marching. Targets: hamstrings, glut max and low back. Description: laying on the floor with your heels on a chair and knees bent, lift your bottom off the floor. Maintaining your position and trying to keep your hips even lift one leg and then the other.
Plank with Knee to Elbow. Targets: abdominals and hip flexors. Description: Holding a straight arm plank with back flat, bring your right knee to your right elbow. Repeat with left knee to left elbow. For the next repetition, attempt to bring your right knee to your left elbow. Alternating elbows works all hip flexors.
Dead Bug Marching. Targets: abdominal muscles and hip flexors as well as core control. Description. Start lying on your back with your hands under your bottom with your hips and knees bent at 90 degrees (and your shins parallel to the floor). Without letting your back lift off the floor and keeping your knee bent at 90 degrees attempt to bring your heel to the ground. Only go as far as you can keeping your back flat. If this becomes easy try without your hands under your bottom
Start by repeating 10 of each of these exercises. As they become easier, add a second then a third set of 10. Try to do some sort of strengthening 3x/week for maximal gains, 2x/week for maintenance. This list is by no means exclusive, and will be augmented by mixing it with some of your favourite exercises or some of our “Also Ran” exercises to break up the boredom!
“Also Ran” Exercises: These exercises require some equipment but are worth adding in!
Squats. Targets: body weight squats increase muscular endurance of quads and glut max. Start with 20-40!
Side Walks. Targets: small gluteus group. With a theraband wrapped around your ankles – in a half squat take 10 steps to the side in one direction then repeat in the other direction.
Single Leg Anything. Targets: small gluteus muscles as well as core stabilizers. Do arm curls, arm raises, overhead presses all standing on one leg. To make them work your stabilizers even harder, do one arm at a time on one leg!
Dead Lifts. Targets gluteus maximus, hamstring and low back strength and no program would be complete without adding these in! Description: standing with legs shoulder width apart and slightly bent, lower light weights (5-10lb to start) down the front of your legs keeping your back straight. Allow your knees to bend as needed to keep your back straight!
Stay tuned for part 3: Pre Season Stretching Program
Please proceed with caution for all of these exercises. If you are experiencing any injuries or have any medical conditions, consult your physiotherapist or physician before starting this program. For more information on our team and services, please consult our website.
As always, thanks for reading, Rebecca